The La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida is one of the city’s oldest and most charming areas. With its cobblestone streets, historical buildings, and traditional Mexican culture, La Ermita is full of character and history. It’s a place where locals and tourists alike explore the city’s past. Notably, La Ermita is filled with beauty and charm in a quaint section of Mérida. Walk with me through the streets lined with colorful houses to explore the area of La Ermita.
History of La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida
The names La Ermita or Ermita are interchangeable. This neighborhood has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. Originally, it was a rural area outside the city walls where farmers and ranchers settled. However, as the city began to grow, the area became more developed. Soon, it became a popular residential neighborhood.
Throughout the years, La Ermita has experienced many changes, from the introduction of new businesses to the restoration of historic homes. Despite these changes, the neighborhood has managed to maintain its charm and character, making it a beloved spot among both locals and tourists alike. Today, La Ermita is known for its picturesque streets lined with colorful homes, a tranquil park, and welcoming atmosphere.
Our Lady of the Good Journey Church in La Ermita
One of the most notable landmarks in La Ermita is the church. Built in the late 1800’s, it is a beautiful example of colonial architecture. Dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Buen Viaje or Our Lady of the Good Journey, the Ermita Church was originally built in the 1700s as a wayfarer’s shrine. Moreover, this was the last place to say your prayers before you set out to Campeche, a dangerous trip west at that particular time.
Our Lady of the Good Journey is Mérida‘s equivalent of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.
Interestingly, there’s a small beautiful garden and patio with access through a wooden door just across from the park. The garden containes medicinal and ornamental plants and trees along with with with a variety of flowers, ferns, and shrubs; all native Yucatecan species. Yes, entry is free but access is limited. If the door is open, peek your head in and ask to see the garden. Caution, some say the garden has ghosts.
The park in front of the church was renovated a few years ago with a new playground, Wi-Fi connections, and computer docking stations. The streets around La Ermita have been reset and repaved with the original bricks. Surprisingly, most people will tell you the bricks were imported from Europe. Actually, they were made and brought to the city from Cincinnati, Ohio!
Location of La Ermita
Located south of the neighborhood of San Juan and west of the San Sebastian, La Ermita is south of Plaza Grande. While La Ermita is no longer a hidden gem, it is a must-visit destination during your time in Mérida. It is also a popular location for film and TV shoots, adding to its charm and allure. Additionally, if you are looking to experience local culture, La Ermita is the place to be. The neighborhood hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Day of the Dead celebrations, which are a must-see.
Ultimately, neighborhoods in Mérida radiate from the center of the city called “The Downtown” & the Plaza Grande. This historic city center features an elegant park & breathtaking church, Catedral San Ildefonso. La Ermita is located just 7 blocks from Plaza Grande. The center of the city is a beautiful place to experience the heartbeat of Mérida. Additionally, there are also newsstands, coffee shops, restaurants, & various retail establishments.
Festivals La Ermita
If you’re visiting Mérida during October 31st through November 2nd, you simply can’t miss out on the incredible festivities of Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Called Hanal Pixan in Mayan, streets are decorated with colorful papel picado. Additionally, local families build elaborate ofrendas (altars) in their homes, dedicated to their loved ones who have passed away.
Notably, on the night of October 31st, a parade known as La Ruta de las Animas takes place in the neighborhood. Participants dress in traditional Day of the Dead costumes and makeup. The parade begins at the main cemetery, where families gather to honor their departed loved ones with music, food, and prayer. Then the parade continues through Ermita with altars, food stalls, music, and festvities.
Throughout the holiday, the city is alive with traditional music, dance performances, altars, and art installations, making for an unforgettable cultural experience. Whether you’re interested in participating in the festivities or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, don’t miss the Dia de Muertos celebrations. Absolutely, arrive early to avoid crowds. Also, bring a camera or your phone to capture the stunning displays of art and tradition.
Where to stay in La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida
If you’re looking for a stylish and comfortable place to stay in the Ermita Neighborhood, the Cigno Hotel Boutique is an excellent choice. Convenietly located just a few blocks away from the neighborhood’s main square, this hotel features elegant decor and excellent amenities.
The rooms at the Cigno Hotel Boutique are beautifully designed with comfortable beds, premium linens, and sleek furnishings. Each room has a private bathroom with a shower, toiletries, and a hairdryer. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV in each room.
The hotel has a charming outdoor pool and patio area, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring the neighborhood. Likewise, there’s also a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. Without a doubt, the hotel’s staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re always happy to recommend local attractions and restaurants. Cigno also has an outstanding restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Overall, the Cigno Hotel Boutique is an excellent option for travelers who want to stay in the heart of the Ermita Neighborhood while enjoying a luxurious and comfortable experience. Book your stay today and experience the charm of this beautiful neighborhood in Mérida!
Final Thoughts on La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida
To sum it up, take a stroll through the quaint and colorful La Ermita neighborhood in Mérida. You’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the most desirable places to live in this vibrant city. From its picturesque cobblestone streets to its eclectic mix of locals, La Ermita is an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore the beauty and culture of Mérida.
While Mérida offers vibrant communities, both large & small, history & culture are very important. Yes, there is truly something for everyone. While you are in Mérida, feel free to move about the city with ease, curiosity, & to explore. The locals are always willing to help and answer questions.